Published: 04th October 2017
Students protest after Govt reduces scholarship for SC/ST engineering students in self-aided colleges
Students staged a dharna outside the collectorate after the recent government orders reduced the scholarship money from Rs 85K to Rs 50K
Condemning the recent Government Orders (GOs) issued by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department of the State government which reduced the post-matric scholarship for students of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes studying Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in self-aided colleges, students besieged the District Collectorate demanding the immediate recall of the GOs. The students blocked the entrance to the Collector’s office and staged a dharna for more than an hour.
They were supported by representatives of Ambedkar Kalvi Centenary Movement, VCK, CPI(M) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
On learning about the protest, Collector Sandeep Nanduri spoke with the student representatives in his chamber and assured that their demands would be duly noted by the State government. Following this, the representatives of the organisations supporting the students also submitted individual petitions to the Collector reiterating the demand.
According to students, the annual academic fee for seats under the management quota for undergraduate engineering courses in self-aided engineering colleges were recently revised from Rs 70,000 to Rs 85,000. As per the existing GO issued by the Tamil Nadu government in 2012, the government is paying the entire fee for SC, ST and SC (Christians) students enrolled in these colleges.
However, on August 11, the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare department issued two fresh GOs which, instead of hiking the scholarship to Rs 85,000, reduced it to Rs 50,000, students said.
In the next few months, the 1.5 lakh students who are benefiting from the post-matric scholarship scheme will be obliged by the colleges to pay the remaining Rs 35,000 fee. The burden will make them quit studies. The GOs should be reversed immediately
K Chandramohan, State Organiser of AKCM
Student representatives argued that the strength of the SC, ST students enrolling in engineering courses have been steadily increasing post the 2012 and GO and the reduction in the post-matric scholarship would negatively impact the scheduled community. They also hinted that they may seek court intervention to get the new GOs revoked.